Assessment of taste functions in allergic rhinitis patients undergoing allergen-specific immunotherapy
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We evaluated taste functions of patients with perennial allergic rhinitis (AR) before and after allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT).
The study was designed as a prospective clinical study in our tertiary care hospital. Patients (n = 21) who were diagnosed with perennial AR on the basis of physical examination, skin prick test of at least 3* for HDM allergen and treated with AIT were enrolled in this study. A control group (n = 21) was selected from patients who were given intranasal steroids (INS) for perennial AR. Both groups had self-reported hyposmia and subjective loss of the sense of taste before treatment. Taste strips (Burghart, Wedel, Germany) were used for the taste identification scores before and after 6 months treatment.
A total of 42 subjects were included, with a mean age of 24.1 ± 7.9 years (range 15–43 years). Overall, the AIT group showed more of an improvement of taste function, observed in the total average test scores, compared to the INS group (p < 0.05), but no change was detected between the groups before treatment. No difference was found for the bitter taste scores between the study groups (p = 0.053).
Subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy resulted in more of an improvement in taste function than intranasal steroids. Further studies are needed.
KeywordsPerennial allergic rhinitis Taste Allergen-specific immunotherapy Olfaction Taste strips
Quality of life
We would like to thank Dr Aytuğ Altundağ for helpful advice concerning the use of the taste strips.
Concept—GB, HAE, ES, BUC; design—GB, HAE, PS, BUC; supervision—HAE, ES; resource—MGG, PS, ZNE; materials—MGG, PS, ZNE; data collection and/or processing—MGG, PS, ZNE; analysis and/or interpretation—GB, HAE, ES; literature search—GB, PS, ZNE, MGG; writing—GB, HAE, ES, BUC; critical reviews—GB, HAE, ES, PS, BUC.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All of the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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